Once an esteemed magister, Dar'Khan Drathir would become one of Quel'Thalas' greatest traitors. His limitless ambition, combined with his egotistical mindset, made him an easy pawn for the forces of the Lich King. Empowered by the treacherous Prince Arthas himself, Dar'Khan opened the way for the Scourge to enter Quel'Thalas and ravage the land in their march to the Sunwell.
Though he was killed by Arthas directly following the fall of Quel'Thalas, Dar'Khan has been resurrected by the Lich King and after several adventures, now resides at the fortress of Deatholme in the southern Ghostlands, where he commands the Scourge in Quel'Thalas. His presence at the doorstep of Quel'Thalas is one of the primary obstacles preventing the blood elves' full acceptance into the Horde.
Early life and betrayal
Dar'Khan Drathir was a member of the Convocation of Silvermoon during the Second War. When warned by Alleria Windrunner of the potential threat of an alliance between the Horde and the Amani forest trolls under Zul'jin, Dar'Khan scoffed and believed that they would not be able to get past the Runestones that protected the borders of Eversong Woods.
As a magister of Quel'Thalas, Dar'Khan used the Sunwell to help construct the cities, shape the land, and attain whatever the high elves desired. He was also a friend of future Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron. Lack of recognition for his part in these glorious deeds, coupled with his own egotistical nature, pushed him down a dark path and he began to secretly develop his own magics, as well as an obsession with the Sunwell. Frustrated by a lack of progress, Dar'Khan was elated when Prince Arthas reached out to aid him, and pledged his loyalty to the despoiler of Lordaeron.
Manipulated and strengthened by his "Blessed Lord", it was his friendship with Lor'themar that allowed Dar'Khan to help Arthas and his army slip through the Quel'Thalassian defenses, slaughtering his own comrades in the process, all the while believing that Arthas was helping him to fulfill his desire for the Sunwell's power. While he battled his fellow magi for control of the Sunwell, Arthas used it to revive Kel'Thuzad, poisoning it and turning the island into a wasteland. The sunwell exploded shortly after, detonated by the elves to clear out the remaining scourge forces and prevent the mystical fountain from further corrupting Quel'Thalas.
After the resurrection of Kel'Thuzad, Dar'Khan (having attempted to betray Arthas, just as he had betrayed his own people) was killed by the death knight, a fact that pleased the recently-raised banshee Sylvanas Windrunner to no end. At some point afterwards, he was brought back in the service of the Scourge, and realized that some of the Sunwell's power had survived the Sunwell's destruction. Ashamed by his failure, Dar'Khan was sent to track down where the remaining magic had gone.
The Sunwell Trilogy
Following years of fruitless searching he finally neared his goal, detecting the Sunwell's presence near a peasant girl named Anveena Teague, who had also drawn attention from members of the blue dragonflight. Dar'Khan, now skilled in necromancy and commanding Scourge forces, attempted to capture her and ascertain the power's whereabouts. After failed attempts at her home and again in Tarren Mill, he finally came to the realization that she was, in fact, an Avatar of the Sunwell's power in humanoid form. Kidnapping her in Alterac Mountains and spiriting her to the ruined lands of Quel'Thalas, now known as the Ghostlands, he confronted her with the truth of her existence.
Dar'Khan then attempted to cast a spell which would allow him to absorb the energies from her, however with the aid of her allies, Anveena manifested the Sunwell's power and wielded it against him. More lich than a living being (no doubt because of Arthas killing him years earlier), he made a final desperate attempt to drain the energy from her directly, but was unable to withstand its brilliance and was burned away.
Tides of Darkness
- "Let them come! Our lands are well-defended - none can pass the Runestones and survive."
- to Alleria Windrunner, upon hearing of the coming of the Horde
- "I am Dar'Khan, a gentle soul by nature...so you should know that what I do, I do by necessity! I am searching for something I have lost...through no fault of my own. I've been led to believe you little ones know something about it. Although you are not elves, I believe you may be able to help me. My people called it the Sunwell..."
- Monologue describing the Sunwell and his part in the Scourge Invasion:
- It was the essence of our lives, the source of the magic that was as much a part of us as breathing or eating. We built our cities, molded the land to our purposes, and made for ourselves whatever we desired. But for all the glories created through the Sunwell, the reward for my part in it was nothing. So I began seeking to reward myself for my good work. Not exactly an elven notion, you must understand. My people, they are shortsighted. I was forced to cast my spells in secret, but cast them I did. Yet I learned too slowly, gained too little...until he reached out and found me.
- He...my Blessed Lord Arthas.
- He knew my desire and understood. He guided my hand, my work, and so I learned...but still it was not enough. I had reached the limit that my calling allowed from the Sunwell. So long as I was but one of many, I could never attain my true glory! And so, with the aid of my Blessed Lord, I sought to take the Sunwell from Quel'Thalas. Arthas' glorious legions attacked Quel'Thalas, slipping past its fabled defenses with my aid. Meanwhile, he taught me the spell of unbinding, and steeled my nerve when I set the plan into motion. The violence was regrettable...but some sacrifices must be made for the greater good, you understand. My people, of course, did not see this.
- Not that they had any choice anymore. The Sunwell was now ours...I could feel my Blessed Lord Arthas urging me on! I even sensed him using his own magic to draw forth the Sunwell's power...better enabling me to absorb all of it, of course. But there were those who refused to allow me my due! They dared cast their own spell in the midst of my glory! They dared to take my Sunwell from me! I fought them, my Blessed Lord aiding me with his mighty strength...and then, something went terribly wrong. Something tore the Sunwell's power from my grip! The destruction ravaged what little remained untouched by the Scourge, but I care not. I had shamed myself before my Blessed Lord. Yet he saved me, and sent me across the continent, to seek out where the Sunwell's magic had gone! And now...after so long...I sense it is near...you have only to tell me where it is.
- Kalec: Then what? You'll free us?
Dar'Khan: Why, no! But I can promise you a relatively painless death.
Shadows of Ice
- Anveena: Dar'Khan! B-but you -- you're...
Dar'Khan: Dead? Not quite, my dear.
Anveena: H-how --?
Dar'Khan: Sleep, my delicious prize! <Dar'Khan touches Anveena's brow, and she goes unconscious.> A delicate young thing like yourself doesn't belong in such a place. But never you fear - I'm taking you home!
- "What have we here? Ah! Is it really my old comrade Lor'themar? I thought you dead! A mistake, I see...but one readily remedied!"
- "So many of your comrades perished protecting the Sunwell...they have missed you, Lor'themar! I think it is time you finally joined them, do you not agree?"
- "So! Our would-be hero! I should leave you to another, but why waste such force on the likes of you, when your pathetic attempt at rescue can be thwarted with merely a gesture?"
- "Hmm...a bit more defiant, eh? How admirable, if futile."
- "You were too late even before you arrived, my foolish friend. The spell is well under way. You cannot stop it. Already, the power of the Sunwell flows to me even though the shell has not yet completely dissipated! But that situation should not last much longer, from what I can see! Then...then I shall become a god to Azeroth! No one else deserves its power more than I! No more will I be twisted or forced to bow to the power of another! I shall make even my dear Lord Arthas kneel to me! My power shall spread beyond Azeroth, to realms merely whispered of! It will be glorious!"
- "Ahh, what's this? Your friends have come to die with you. I shall be only too happy to oblige them..."
Dar'Khan in World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Main article: Dar'Khan Drathir (tactics)
Dar'Khan is a level 21 elite undead located at the Tower of the Damned, the skull-topped structure in the center of Deatholme in southern Ghostlands. His model appears to be similar to that of the Illidari blood elves residing in Shadowmoon Valley in Outland.
How did he return?
Dar'Khan's appearance in World of Warcraft remains something of a mystery. Though he was apparently vaporized by Anveena at the conclusion of the Sunwell Trilogy, he has returned yet again to command the Scourge forces in Quel'thalas with no explanation as to the method of his revival.
Similarly, in the Sunwell Trilogy, Dar'Khan experienced a variety of bodily injuries including a severed finger and being completely consumed by flames, however, he simply regenerates his wounds or reappears later, seemingly unharmed, offering little explanation beyond stating that he is, "more than mortal," and "not quite" dead. A detailed summary appearing online prior to the book's release described Dar'Khan as more lich than mortal, indicated that like liches, his physical form might be capable of regeneration so long as his soul remains grounded in the physical world.
Around level 15-16, a quest chain begins at the Sanctum of the Sun, sending the player to Farstrider Enclave. The Farstriders task the player with discovering clues of Dar'Khan's past, and how to potentially defeat him in the present. His journal is discovered at Dawnstar Spire, where Dar'Khan apparently spent much time; the journal reveals his contempt for his own race as well as his plans to allow the Scourge into Quel'Thalas.
Dar'Khan promised two artifacts, the Stone of Flame and Stone of Light, to the Scourge. These were powerful artifacts imbued with the power of the Sunwell, used as wards against the Scourge. The player is sent to retrieve the stones, which are forged into a sword or an orb (depending on the player's class or preference), which would allow the power of the Sunwell to be used against Dar'Khan. The player is then sent to Deatholme to destroy Dar'Khan and return his head.
Dar'Khan is located at the "dead center" of Deatholme, within the Tower of the Damned. The entrances are guarded by shades known as the Eyes of Dar'Khan. Inside are a wailer and four Deatholme Necromancers with skeletal minions - two inside Dar'Khan's inner sanctum, and one at each of the entrances to that chamber. The Sunwell Blade or Orb from the previous quest have a special spell that can silence Dar'Khan for five seconds and cause 500 Arcane damage to him. It is recommended to have a group of five (or one person with a level 30+ friend) to kill Dar'Khan.
It is recommended to destroy the 2 necromancers by pulling their skeletons and killing the necromancers themselves with ranged attacks and spells for trying to get in melee range with them will aggro Dar'Khan himself. Dar'Khan is a warlock-type mob, his base attack is Shadowbolt, and he also has Corruption and Fear that can send you into adds, therefore it is advised to clear the whole tower before attacking him. He has a huge health pool and hits hard so it is advised to have a 5-man group (or the low-level player on the quest with a much higher-level friend) to kill him.